Late Push Leads Minnesota-Duluth Past Men's Basketball, 91-77

Twitty scored a team-high 21 points for the Skyhawks tonight (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Illikainen's 28 points leads all scorers for Bulldogs

DULUTH, Minn. (November 16, 2019) – The University of Minnesota-Duluth used a late run to seal a 91-77 victory over Stonehill College, ranked No. 6 in the D2SIDA East Region preseason poll, in non-conference men's basketball action on day two of the 2019 American Family Insurance Classic at Romano Gymnasium this evening.

Senior Alex Illikainen, a graduate transfer from the University of Wisconsin, led five from Minnesota-Duluth in double figures with a game-high 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting, eight rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Senior Brandon Myer added a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, with five assists and two blocks, while classmate Logan Rohrscheib netted 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point range.

Freshman Drew Blair contributed 13 points, seven boards and three assists for UMD, while sophomore Hunter Plamann rounded out the Bulldogs in double figures with 11 points, aided by 6-for-6 shooting at the free-throw line, three rebounds and two assists.

Seniors Will Moreton and Brandon Twitty combined for 41 points for the second-straight night for Stonehill, but it was Twitty who led the Skyhawks with 21 points tonight (11 first half) on 10-of-20 shooting, while Moreton scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half on 7-of-11 shooting, converting 5-of-7 free-throws. Twitty also added three rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Moreton finished with five boards and two steals.

Moreton capped his homecoming trip with a second-straight 20-point outing as well (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Junior Owen Chose followed with a season-high 18 points, including 13 in the second half, on 6-of-15 shooting, including 4-for-8 from three-point distance, with three assists and two rebounds for Stonehill. Sophomore Josh Mack registered a career-high 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 2-for-3 from long range, and two rebounds off the bench for the Skyhawks.

Minnesota-Duluth closed out the first half with an 8-2 run to take a seven point (40-33) halftime lead, but Stonehill started strong in the second, pulling even (43-43) after a Moreton three-pointer less than two minutes in. The teams battled back and forth over the next four minutes, but the Skyhawks were unable to grab a lead, with Chose drawing the visitors even again (52-52) with a three pointer with 14:25 remaining.

UMD outscored Stonehill 10-3 over the next three minutes to reclaim a seven point lead (62-55) on a Blair layup with 11:12 to go. Stonehill closed within four (66-62) after a Twitty layup with nine minute left, but would get no closer. The Bulldogs followed with an 11-2 run to open a 13 point lead (77-64) following a Bair triple with six minutes to play. The Skyhawks pulled back within nine (79-70) after a Chose three with 3:38 to play, but the Bulldogs scored the next ten to open up an 19-point margin (89-70) after an Illikainen three with 1:47 left that sealed it.

Stonehill trailed by nine early (16-7), but used an 11-2 run to grab the lead (22-20) after a Moreton layup with 8:39 left in the first half. Moreton made two free throws for another two point lead (24-22), but UMD scored eight straight to regain the lead (30-24) on a three-point play from Illikainen with 6:47 remaining in the half.

Stonehill (2-2, 0-0 NE10) heads back to the East Coast tomorrow and will return to action on Wednesday, when it opens its Northeast-10 Conference schedule at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire at 7 p.m. The Skyhawks home opener is next Saturday, November 23, against Saint Michael's College for an NE10 clash at Merkert Gymnasium at 3:30 p.m. UMD (3-1, 0-0 NSIC) hosts the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.